No more diatribes, please

15th May 2009 at 01:00
David Terron, Elgin Academy

You hailed an article by a self-confessed terrorist, Bill Ayers (pictured with his wife), with the opening "Barack Obama's `terrorist pal', a dig at the academic's radical past in the Weather Underground" (April 17). If you regard being a terrorist who took part in attacks that only missed killing people by sheer luck as a radical, then perhaps you should consider asking another former terrorist, Northern Ireland Education Minister Martin McGuiness, to contribute to how best to teach our children.

Sol Stern once said: "Calling Bill Ayers a school reformer is a bit like calling Joseph Stalin an agricultural reformer." Ayers frequently and loudly promotes his right to free speech, yet denies members of the educational community their right to speak up. He sees education as a means of social and political activism, rather than encouraging learning. Quite what I am expected to take from this "educational expert" is difficult to understand.

It was with an already increased sense of annoyance that I then read the anonymous attack (April 24) on Brian Boyd, one of the architects of A Curriculum for Excellence, for which he has not been fully recognised. I get the impression that the author not only fails to understand ACfE, but is unwilling to change to cope with the 21st century. The author of this screed must surely be nicknamed Dinosaurus Educatus.

Allowing such attacks seems to me to be profoundly undemocratic as well as rude. I hope The TESS will give a voice to many different opinions, but do we really need to fall so low as to include such as Ayers and the anonymous author of the diatribe against Brian Boyd?

David Terron, Elgin Academy.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today